Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Community Corner: When is a Treasurer not a Treasurer

Posted by auroracitizen on December 10, 2009

Just so there is no confusion — this post was submitted by Junius

Dear Aurora Citizen:

Yet again, the Mayor (“I do so know how to run a meeting”) has abused the procedural bylaw, in allowing the announcement that Mr. Dan Elliot has been appointed as the Town Treasurer.

Actually, the announcement of the appointment was made by the CAO, Mr. Garbe, but does anyone think that he does anything that is not pre-approved by the Mayor?

Mr. Garbe has issued an announcement to all Town staff as well as Council, that Mr. Elliot has been appointed to the position of Town Treasurer. Yet, the Municipal Act is very clear that a Treasurer can only be appointed by Council enacting a by-law. No by-law to this effect has been proposed, let alone enacted. So, how has he then been appointed?

So, now we have a Council (or a majority of Council) who do not care about procedure; a CAO, who obviously does not understand or care about the procedure; a Town Solicitor who either doesn’t know or is so completely out of the loop so as to be irrelevant. And, now a Treasurer who is suspect.

I have heard from people, who are in the know and whose opinion I respect that Mr. Elliot is very knowledgeable and does a good job. Yet, I must admit that my cynicism is now to the point where I have to ask, “if he is that good, why does he let the situation be manipulated so”.

The history texts state that Henry II issued these famous words with reference to Sir Thomas Becket, then Archbishop of Canterbury: “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest”. Sir Thomas refused to acquiesce to the King’s changing whims. (Yes, this historical perspective can be argued).

I ask: “who will rid us of this treasonous, poisonous rabble”

Signed, Junius

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9 Responses to “Community Corner: When is a Treasurer not a Treasurer”

  1. White Knight said

    This is in response not only to this post but also to the post about Councillor Buck’s lawsuit. I am wondering if or when motor mouth Morris will learn to just shut the hell up instead of holding forth in her odious self-righteous manner. I also can’t help but feel nothing but contempt for the pathetic, limp and impotent individuals who support her and let themselves be dragged into her black widow’s web of sheer stupidity and lunacy.

  2. evelyn.buck@rogers.com said

    Elizabeth.

    The Municipal Act requires municipalities to adopt a recruitment policy. It’s not just a collection of words on a page. It is intended to ensure as much as it is possible to do so, there is competition for public service positions and the most qualified person is chosen.

    Sometimes the normal recruitment is not successful. But it must always be the first option.

    Statutory Officers must be appointed by Bylaw. A statutory officer by definition has legal authority. They are personally and legally liable if they fail to exercise the authority of their office. It’s a serious responsibility shared only by the legislative body which made the appointment. Which is why it must be done by Bylaw. And since only Council can pass a Bylaw, only Council can make the appointment. The Bylaw is the appointment.

    I have had to keep hammering away at this point since April. Despite the announcement the appointment of treasure has been made…it has not.

    The Clerk, the Treasurer and The Chief Building Official are statutory officers.

    Bylaw Oficers might also have to be appointed by bylaw because they too exercise legal authority.

  3. Richard Johnson said

    Remember my two Freedom of Information requests that were submitted on November 11th after receiving no response to three previous e-mail requests that were intended to clarify a simple point of procedure and the town’s official stance on the logic behind the firing of Mr. Nitkin ? Still not a word of response from the town 30 days later. The response must be in the mail given that they are bound by law to respond within 30 days.

    The quotes below were taken from the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s website:

    “The term freedom of information (FOI) refers to public access to general records relating to the activities of government – ranging from administration and operations to legislation and policy – and access to records of your own personal information that government offices may hold. Being able to access this information is an important aspect of open and accountable government. (Privacy protection is the other side of that equation, and refers to the safeguarding of personal information held by government.)….

    Appeals concerning either general or personal information records may relate to a refusal by a government organization to provide access, the fees the organization wants to charge, the fact that the organization did not respond within the prescribed 30-day period, or other procedural aspects relating to an FOI request.”

  4. Junius said

    To Elizabeth’s question, only certain positions require a by-law. The Treasurer is a statutory officer of the corporation, and as such, is confirmed by by-law. The majority of Town employees would be hired under standard hiring practices.

    This is the same as for any corporation, in that the officers of that corporation (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) are elected by the shareholders, or more specifically, by the Board of Directors who represent those shareholders.

    Hope this helps.

  5. evelyn.buck@rogers.com said

    It cannot be assumed Council has approved the permanent appointment to the position of Treasurer announced by the Chief Administratice Officer. I have asked to see a record of the resolution giving direction to staff in this matter. It has not been forthcoming.

    The Municipal Act requires a municipality to adopt a recruitment policy. Aurora has one on the books.

    Every regulation has a history. It shouldn’t be difficult to understand the objective,. It must be clear to all a competition was held and the best candidate selected ..

    As pointed out in this post, appointment of a statutory officer is done by Bylaw. Only Councillors have authority to pass Bylaws. it follows therefore, since no direction has been given by Council to prepare a Bylaw and no Bylaw has been passed there is no appointment.

    I don’t care how many Councillors may have chosen to surrender their authority and by the way I know of only one. A Council cannot ,within the law, delegate that authority.

    It just doesn’t work that way.

    • elizabethbishenden said

      Well… what do other municipalities do when they have to hire someone?

      Do they actually require a bylaw enacted by Council to hire every employee, or just senior managers? Do some towns even need to have Council involved in hiring at all?

      I’m asking because I honestly don’t know how the process works.

  6. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    I am aware that an email has been sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs asking what citizens can do about an apparent breach of this Municipal Act requirement. Stay Tuned.

  7. Positive 2010 said

    Please please can someone find a way to have this Gang of 6 investigated .
    This is going way too far for our fine Town to be had this way .

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